Timber Products Success Story

Timber Products is saving more than 1.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually with help from Pacific Power incentives. Above from left: Tracy Arasmith, maintenance manager, Brad Beavers, regional Process Control Manager, Timber Products; Christina Kruger, Pacific Power regional business manager; and Stefan Bird, Pacific Power president and CEO.Above from left: Tracy Arasmith, maintenance manager, Brad Beavers, regional Process Control Manager, Timber Products; Christina Kruger, Pacific Power regional business manager; and Stefan Bird, Pacific Power president and CEO.

Pacific Power has selected Timber Products Company as a 2016 wattsmart® Business Partner of the Year for outstanding achievements and leadership in energy efficiency.

A leading manufacturer of hardwood plywood and wood panels with decorative overlays, Timber Products has completed three projects at its Yreka, California, facility through Pacific Power’s energy efficiency program since 2012. In total, these projects yield more than 1.4 million kilowatt-hours per year of energy savings, enough to power approximately 90 typical homes in the Yreka area for a year.

“We approach projects with the idea of how can we be more efficient. We don't do it for awards, but it's nice to know that our hard work is being shown to others and that we can be a model for other industries,” said Brian Vaccarino, Timber Products’ regional process control.

Upgrades lower energy use, enhance processes

“Timber Products is forward thinking when it comes to taking significant steps to save energy and improve their sustainability and production practices,” said Christina Kruger, regional business manager for Pacific Power.

“If we can make our products better using less energy, it keeps us more marketable in a very competitive industry,” said Vaccarino.

At its Yreka plant, Timber Products’ energy-saving projects with Pacific Power focused on compressed air equipment retrofits. In one, the compressed air system was converted from a single compressor to a system of two smaller sized compressors with controls. The new configuration is very flexible.

“We had a big motor producing air when we really didn't need it, at a high volume, and it was an older style compressor that had a very inefficient way of modulating itself,” said Vaccarino. “Now, it's all depending on the demand in the plant, which compressor – or both – that we run.”

Another energy-saving action also helped find a cost-effective way to solve a process issue.

Hot veneer coming off a freshly peeled log in a cold environment produces steam. The steam has the potential to prevent the plant’s quality control system from getting a clear view of the veneer. Previously big electric heaters would be used to warm the area to alleviate this problem.

By installing ductwork that recovers heat from the air compressors, the company was able to re-route it to provide heating to the plant.

“We normally would just exhaust [the heat] outside,” said Vaccarino. “We redirected back into the facility, and it took away all that steam. It was huge benefit.”

He said in addition to an energy study paid for by Pacific Power, wattsmart Business program engineers “helped out a lot to make sure we got the best efficiencies and gave us options to boot.”

Projects shave more than $138,000 in energy costs

Timber Products received more than $139,000 in wattsmart Business incentives from Pacific Power for the energy efficiency upgrades. The energy-cost savings resulting from these projects reduce Timber Product’s electric bill by more than $138,800 annually.

Yaccarino noted the company always has an eye on what’s next to improve energy usage.

“We've picked some of the low-hanging fruit, now we're looking at some of the bigger options that will help us sustain ourselves for the next 30 to 40 years,” he said.

Learn more about energy efficiency services and incentives for businesses »